Max Pacioretty signs $28M contract extension with Golden Knights after Canadiens trade

Ron Chenoy / USA TODAY Sports

Max Pacioretty got a pretty good windfall on his first afternoon in Las Vegas -- one worth $28 million, to be exact. 

The newest Golden Knights player agreed to a four-year, $28 million extension with the team hours after they acquired him from the Montreal Canadiens for two players and a draft pick. That contract extension, which will kick in after this season, comes with a limited no-trade clause.

The Golden Knights didn't waste any time in locking up Pacioretty long term after trading Tomas Tatar, Nick Suzuki and a second-round pick for the former Montreal Canadiens captain in the early hours of Monday morning. The extension appears to be a very good one for Vegas, as they manage to get the 29-year-old Pacioretty to stick around without having to overcommit on the term or dollars.

The $7 million average annual value (AAV) is a nice pay raise for Pacioretty, who is making $4.5 million AAV on his current deal, but it's still a very fair price point for a player that has been as productive as he's been over the past decade -- especially when you recognize that the length of the deal isn't a major risk.

The winger is coming off a down year in which he recorded just 37 points in 64 games for Montreal. But the Canadiens struggled overall and were 29th in the league in offense last year, meaning there's reason to believe Pacioretty can get back to his productive ways on a very impressive Golden Knights team. 

Prior to last season, Pacioretty had four consecutive 60-plus point seasons -- including a career-high 39-goal campaign in 2013-14. Over the past seven years, only two players (Alex Ovechkin and John Tavares) have scored more even-strength goals than Pacioretty. 

The trade and extension come after a drawn out divorce in Montreal. The Canadiens were reportedly shopping Pacioretty in trade talks for the better part of a year -- including in a reported trade with the Los Angeles Kings that fell through earlier this summer -- and the club seemed to claim that he wasn't willing to sign an extension in Montreal. Pacioretty and his representation denied those claims, firing back with accusations that the club was planting negative stories about him in the media. 

A trade became more and more likely as the situation grew in toxicity, and Pacioretty made it known that he wouldn't negotiate a contract extension during the regular season. That meant the Canadiens would either have to quickly come to an agreement on an extension with their captain, or they'd have to pull the trigger on a trade if they didn't want to risk losing him for nothing in free agency. 

It's hard to imagine that the Canadiens weren't willing to match what Vegas offered in terms of years and money on the extension, which seems to suggest that Pacioretty wasn't super interested in sticking around with the Habs. However, it's worth noting that the lack of state tax in Nevada could've been a selling point for Pacioretty, whereas the taxes in Quebec are significantly less appealing.

In any case, the Golden Knights' deal for Pacioretty looks significantly better knowing that he wont be a half-season rental, even more so when you consider that the terms are very agreeable. 

Pete Blackburn is from Boston, so there's a good chance you don't like him already. He has been a writer at CBS Sports since 2017 and usually aims to take a humorous and light-hearted approach to the often... Full Bio

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